Cannabidiol or CBD is now extremely popular among humans. People are naturally curious whether pets can reap the same benefits. If so, what are the benefits, and can animals use the same CBD products as humans?
The short answer is yes, but there’s more to it. The details differ in how much CBD pets should take and the potential health benefits for them compared to the human body. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about CBD products for animals, including:
- what CBD is,
- the effects of CBD on pets
- what veterinarians have to say about cannabidiol products, and
- the possible CBD uses for your four-legged friends.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
As a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol or CBD is ubiquitous in beauty and health products now emerging in mainstream markets. Humans have been using cannabis for medicinal benefits for centuries, and numerous benefits are gaining traction with new studies and isolation techniques.
The cannabis Sativa plant has over 80 other active chemical compounds besides CBD, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Whether it’s the Delta-9 strain of THC found in marijuana or not, THC’s psychoactive properties get people high. CBD does not have these same elements, so there aren’t any intoxicating effects when you consume pure CBD.
CBD oil manufacturers extract the compound from the cannabis or hemp plants, adding it to a carrier oil to dilute the products for use. Today, CBD oil is an incredibly popular supplement to treat conditions like chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Since it’s not psychoactive, CBD is an excellent product for people who want to experience the benefits of cannabidiol without feeling intoxicated.
How Does CBD Oil Affect the Body?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex biological system responsible for a wide range of bodily functions, such as mood, pain, memory, sleep, and appetite. When you consume CBD, the body processes it through this system. While scientists don’t know all the complexities of the ECS, it appears to have three primary components: enzymes, receptors, and endocannabinoids.
The brain’s system of cells (neurons) transmits signals throughout the body that cause parts to perform functions. The neurons might induce actions like moving, thinking, or setting a certain mood. When a person consumes CBD, those chemical compounds attach to cannabinoid receptors, which can alter the way the body receives the brain’s messages.
For example, if your brain is transmitting messages to your lower back as a result of an injury, the CBD might downgrade the intensity of the pain signal. CBD’s effects via the endocannabinoid system have enormous potential to reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation for arthritis, tendonitis, and sciatica, among other conditions. However, the benefits of CBD applications are not limited to humans.
What Are the Potential Health Benefits of CBD?
CBD products are taking the health and wellness industry by storm. Here’s a quick breakdown of the top health benefits of cannabidiol:
Reducing Pain & Inflammation
Humans have been using cannabis to treat pain for centuries, mainly because CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the ECS to regulate pain intensity. CBD products allow people and pets to handle symptoms of a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, muscle aches, and joint pain.
Decreasing Stress & Anxiety
Research around using CBD to treat anxiety disorders is extremely promising. Humans and animals struggle with anxiety, stress, and depression, and effective pharmaceutical drugs often result in adverse side effects. CBD is a more natural approach for treating these symptoms of stress and anxiety without any repercussions.
Alleviating Symptoms of Cancer
Humans and animals that are undergoing cancer treatment experience pain, vomiting, and nausea. While more research would draw more conclusive results, a few studies have indicated that cancer patients felt less pain and discomfort after using CBD during their cancer treatment period.
CBD is becoming more accessible worldwide, and scientists should soon have enough data to understand its true effects, including the benefits of CBD oil for cancer sufferers.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
In December 2018, the newly signed Farm Bill1 removed hemp and cannabis Sativa L from the Controlled Substance Act. If a product has more than 0.3% THC, the federal government deems it a Schedule 1 Narcotic. Products with less than 0.3% THC have fewer regulations for production and distribution.
Most CBD products for pets don’t contain THC. However, the FDA hasn’t approved CBD oil or related products for dog consumption yet. Without FDA approval, it can be incredibly challenging to find proper dosage recommendations for dogs and humans.
Canines also have an endocannabinoid system that works similarly to humans but is far more sensitive. Dogs only require a fraction of the dose a human would need to experience the same effects, so if you’re thinking about giving CBD to your dog, give the smallest dose possible to test for negative reactions. If the effects seem normal, you can gradually increase the dosage.
Can Cats Benefit From CBD?
Cats experience arthritis like dogs do, especially older felines. Aging bodies experience a wide range of symptoms, including pain, decreased mobility, and fatigue. Cats also experience more depression and anxiety in later years as their abilities decrease and basic functions become more challenging.
While the effects of aging can be unpleasant, CBD oil might help. The product is full of anti-inflammatory capabilities, reducing general inflammation and alleviating joint and muscle pain for feline members of the household. Some of the other CBD oil benefits for cats are:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Positive demeanor
- Increased appetite
- Higher sleep quality
What Are the Potential Side Effects of CBD for Pets?
There aren’t current clinical studies to show the adverse side effects of CBD oil for dogs or cats. However, known side effects for humans provide a general reference for CBD effects. CBD oil is considered extremely safe with rare reactions including:
- Drowsiness. CBD oil creates a calming effect that is extremely effective for treating anxiety disorders. However, the relaxing effect can make you feel drowsy, especially in higher doses.
- Dry Mouth. Dry mouth (also known as cottonmouth) is a common side effect of cannabis products because they reduce saliva production and make you feel thirstier.
- Stomachache. While stomachaches aren’t too common from taking CBD oil, some people report having an upset stomach after consuming CBD. However, this usually only happens when someone takes more than the recommended dosage.
How To Choose CBD Products for Pets
Choosing any health supplement for your pet needs careful consideration for the best products possible. You may have to research the type of product and manufacturer to make a well-informed decision about the right CBD products for your pet.
Here are a few factors you can consider before purchasing any CBD products from The Other Path’s recommended brands:
One of the first considerations is the brand source. Where does the company find their hemp, and how do they incorporate it into the products? Check a wide range of factors about the hemp, such as:
- Is it grown indoors or outdoors?
- Does the crop use pesticides?
- How does the company manage its crops during the sowing, growth, reaping, and processing?
You can also check to see how long the farm has been operating to see if they’re reputable growers.
When it comes to CBD oil, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products are common choices. The right decision will depend on what you want your pet to gain from using the CBD product. Here’s what each type entails:
- Broad-Spectrum CBD oil doesn’t contain any THC. However, it does have several other cannabis compounds. A broad-spectrum CBD is often preferred because it gives you all the benefits of cannabidiol without THC’s psychoactive properties affecting your experience.
- Full-Spectrum CBD oil has all the cannabis compounds, including THC. However, most full-spectrum CBD products only contain trace amounts of this psychoactive compound, and it may not be enough to get you or your pet high.
- CBD Isolate is essentially a pure CBD option. These products don’t contain any other cannabis compounds and are the purest form of cannabidiol available on the market.
Third-party lab testing verifies the potency, quality, and safety of the CBD products you want to use. You should always look for a company that tests its products regularly. It may also be a good idea to call the lab testing company to ensure the brand is honest about its published results.
Shopping for health supplements for a four-legged roommate doesn’t need to be an expensive exercise, but the cheapest products often lack the quality or purity you might want to provide for your pet. Unreliable brands could also be potentially harmful with trace elements of other compounds or foreign ingredients.
It is far wiser to look for a high-quality CBD product that’s within your budget and verified by reputable sites like ours.
Reliable CBD Brands from The Other Path
CBD is extremely beneficial for humans and pets, including dogs, cats, and people who struggle with painful conditions. Pure CBD is an excellent natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, but it should be viewed as a supplement, not a prescription replacement. Start small, and pay attention to any effects.
CBD research is promising, and we can expect to learn a lot more about its benefits for pets and humans in the future. If you’re looking for high-quality CBD products or more information, please feel free to peruse The Other Path’s available brands.